“A lot of people call 911 because they don’t know where else to turn. They know they are going to get a live person on the phone, and they know somebody is going to come out and see them,” says Greg Moncrief, RN, director of the Citizen Assist Program at United Way of Greater Kansas City.
Dates of Project: August 1, 2008 through December 31, 2013
Description: With a goal of both helping individuals in need, and reducing non-urgent calls to 911, United Way of Greater Kansas City’s Citizen Assist Program completes in-home assessments of vulnerable patients whose needs are identified by EMTs during a 911 response. EMTs and paramedics often notice that their patients have unmet, non-emergency needs, ranging from unsafe housing conditions to an inability to pay for prescription medications or difficulty keeping up with household chores.
Citizen Assist connects them with the needed medical, housing, transportation and other social services provided by community resources in the metropolitan area.
Over the course of the six-plus year project, Citizen Assist fielded 2,196 referrals from 24 fire departments’ emergency medical services, resulting in 2,121 completed in-home assessments. Of those, 2,079 clients signed up for at least one new service.
The project also demonstrated a decline in non-emergency 911 calls in at least one fire department, which conducted its own post-implementation analysis.
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